Franchise fatigue? Forget it...
I've spent a lot of time within the Borderlands universe, it's one of my favourite from the last generation.I couldn’t estimate how many hours I’ve sunk into the series, in fact I don’t think I’d even want to, because it would be a lot. Between the three games that have released, their availability has spanned many formats, the majority on which I have played. You could say I’m somewhat of a fan, albeit even if the Vita outing wasn’t all that great.So when Borderlands found its way onto my doormat, I was expecting to find starting all over again to be a chore. I looked at it, it looked at me and I stuck the disc into my PS4. As the hefty 8gb patch downloaded in the background, I fired Borderlands 2 up once more, and I’ve found it hard to turn off, yet again…
Franchise fatigue?Franchise fatigue is hard to overcome when it comes to some of the bigger ones available, such as Call of Duty and Battlefield. But when it comes to Borderlands, it still feels fresh and it’s simply because there is nothing like it elsewhere in the market.
It's unlikely two playthroughs will ever be the same...
Its unique spin on the shooter and role-playing genre is one that shouldn’t work but just does. Just as you feel like you’ve hit your limit for the day, a loot chest or fallen enemy will endow you with a new rare weapon or piece of gear and you’re hooked all over again. Your progression feels rewarding, and thanks to the huge variety of weapons available, it’s unlikely that two playthroughs will ever harbour the same result.
What's in the box?Bundled here in The Handsome Collection you find Borderlands 2 and its little brother The Pre-Sequel. It was somewhat of an inevitability that the latter would find its way onto the new generation of consoles, and by bundling it with the second title, there’s even more reason for people to invest in it once again. As mentioned in our review previously, the Pre-Sequel is weaker in comparison to Borderlands 2, but adds a couple of new mechanics that tweak the established gameplay.
In their entirety and complete forms here though, the two titles in this offering aren’t worth missing. They both come with previously released DLC, including all the expansion packs and increased level caps, giving literally hundreds of hours’ worth of play. Whilst some of this may not be new, what is new is the ability to play four player co-operative locally should you have the friends to do so.
The update treatmentSince both titles were last generation titles by right, both games have had a graphical update which makes them crispy clear and silky smooth, most of the time.
The extra level of detail seen in the world and its hand drawn artwork is a real treat, even if the load times between areas can be a bit sluggish and textures can be slow to pop in. The frame rate can drop when things get hectic however, which does slightly dampen the experience, but otherwise both games are very polished.
In their transferal from the previous consoles, however, a number of bugs have also appeared which will hopefully be addressed in future updates. The AI was never the greatest in the past, but enemies were at least challenging enough to make each area feel tough.
Here though something strange is happening, as the AI will stand staring blankly into space whilst you’re walking about in front of enemies, sometimes letting you take a few cheap shots at them before realising it. Then there are the mystery bullets that don’t register upon hitting your target or deal any damage, temporarily turning them into bullet sponges.
- Most complete release yet
- Four player co-op
- Updated graphics
- Frame rate issues
- Some bugs on launch
Borderlands: The Handsome Collection PS4 ReviewIt would be easy to groan at the thought of another re-mastered collection coming to PS4, I know I let out a sigh upon hearing that this would be released on the new generation. But when you look at the sparse release calendar on the PS4 at present it's hard to knock this collection and ignore it as you could easily find yourself questing once more for hours on end.
In their best and most complete launches to date, you can't call paying full price for this package unjust when considering how many hours worth of gameplay is on offer in total here. If there was need for any more evidence that Borderlands 3 must happen, and soon, then this is it. Let's hope that Gearbox and 2K put their plans into action in the near future...
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